Carolyn Arnold deviates from her typical genre and delves into literary fiction to bring readers Rings of a Tree. This short story draws a poetic correlation between the changing seasons and the stages of our lives and was inspired by the author’s observations of the human journey. It is told through the viewpoint of an oak tree in snapshots of events that take place over generations.
“It’s a well-told tale. One that will stay with you long after you’ve turned the last page.”
–Ann Swann, Bestselling author
“The generational tale she weaves is so true, so honest, that anyone can relate to it and feel compassion for the characters as they go through the trials and successes of life. We only get a sneak peek into their experiences, as we see them through the eyes of an eternal oak tree, but it is no less impactful.”
–Katie Jennings, Bestselling author
Another season begins…
Childhood sweethearts Jake and Cassidy always knew they’d end up getting married, but what they hadn’t been prepared for were the ups and downs that life would present to them.
Follow their family through generations of celebrations and trials, as told through the eyes and ears of an oak tree.
Stories are one of mankind’s greatest artistic achievements. Whether written down or spoken they have an ability to capture our imagination and thoughts, and take us on incredible journeys in the space of a phrase and the turn of a page.
Within a few words of text or speech, new worlds and characters form, propelling a narrative to a conclusion with intricate ease. Finely crafted, perfectly formed these Miniature Masterpieces, at first thought, seem remarkably easy to conjure up. But ask any writer and they will tell you that distilling the essence of narrative and characters into a short story is one of the hardest acts of their literary craft. Many attempt, but few achieve.
Henry Fielding was born at Sharpham Park, near Glastonbury, in Somerset on April 22nd 1707. His early years were spent on his parents’ farm in Dorset before being educated at Eton.
An early romance ended disastrously and with it his removal to London and the beginnings of a glittering literary career; he published his first play, at age 21, in 1728.
He was prolific, sometimes writing six plays a year, but he did like to poke fun at the authorities. His plays were thought to be the final straw for the authorities in their attempts to bring in a new law. In 1737 The Theatrical Licensing Act was passed. At a stroke political satire was almost impossible. Fielding was rendered mute. Any playwright who was viewed with suspicion by the Government now found an audience difficult to find and therefore Theatre owners now toed the Government line.
Fielding was practical with the circumstances and ironically stopped writing to once again take up his career in the practice of law and became a barrister after studying at Middle Temple. By this time he had married Charlotte Craddock, his first wife, and they would go on to have five children. Charlotte died in 1744 but was immortalised as the heroine in both Tom Jones and Amelia.
Fielding was put out by the success of Samuel Richardson's Pamela, or Virtue Rewarded. His reaction was to spur him into writing a novel. In 1741 his first novel was published; the successful Shamela, an anonymous parody of Richardson's novel.
Undoubtedly the masterpiece of Fielding’s career was the novel Tom Jones, published in 1749. It is a wonderfully and carefully constructed picaresque novel following the convoluted and hilarious tale of how a foundling came into a fortune.
Fielding was a consistent anti-Jacobite and a keen supporter of the Church of England. This led to him now being richly rewarded with the position of London's Chief Magistrate. Fielding continued to write and his career both literary and professional continued to climb.
In 1749 he joined with his younger half-brother John, to help found what was the nascent forerunner to a London police force, the Bow Street Runners. Fielding's ardent commitment to the cause of justice in the 1750s unfortunately coincided with a rapid deterioration in his health. Such was his decline that in the summer of 1754 he travelled, with Mary and his daughter, to Portugal in search of a cure. Gout, asthma, dropsy and other afflictions forced him to use crutches. His health continued to fail alarmingly.
Henry Fielding died in Lisbon two months later on October 8th, 1754.
Charles Dickens saw his fictional work in print for the first time in 1833 when he was only twenty-one. It was a story called “Mr Minns and his Cousin” and was published in the Morning Chronicle. He wrote more tales and sketches for newspapers and magazines which were collected and published in book form in two series in 1836 as “Sketches by Boz”. Here are nine of them:"Horatio Sparkins""Mr. Minns and his Cousin""The Great Winglebury Duel""Mrs. Joseph Porter""The Bloomsbury Christening""Miss Evans and the Eagle""Sentiment""Thoughts about People""Shabby-genteel People"Public Domain (P)2016 Spiders' House Audio/Roy Macready
A Hunger Artist is a short story by Franz Kafka first published in Die neue Rundschau in 1922. The story was also included in the collection A Hunger Artist, the last book Kafka prepared for publication, printed by Verlag Die Schmiede after Kafka's death. The protagonist, a hunger artist who experiences the decline in appreciation of his craft, is an archetypical creation of Kafka: an individual marginalized and victimized by society at large. The title of the story has been translated also to "A Fasting Artist" and "A Starvation Artist".
A Hunger Artist explores the familiar Kafka themes of death, art, isolation, asceticism, spiritual poverty, futility, personal failure and the corruption of human relationships.
Three novellas filled with “gallows humor and a sense of real peril,” by the acclaimed author of The Book of Strange New Things (The New York Times). The bestselling author of The Crimson Petal and the White “draws his characters with assured comic efficiency” (The Guardian), using “evocative language” to offer up “intriguing glimpses of unfamiliar worlds” (Los Angeles Times), in these acclaimed novellas. In “The Courage Consort,” an a cappella vocal ensemble is sequestered in a Belgian château to rehearse a monstrously complicated new piece, but competing artistic temperaments and sexual needs create as much discordance as the avant-garde music. In “The Hundred and Ninety-Nine Steps,” a lonely woman joins an archaeological dig at Whitby Abbey and unearths a mystery involving a long-hidden murder. And in “The Fahrenheit Twins,” strange children, identical in all but gender, are left alone at the icy zenith of the world by their anthropologist parents to create their own ritual civilization. From a wildly inventive author whose novel The Book of Strange New Things was named one of 2014’s best reads by everyone from the New Yorker to io9, The Courage Consort is an eclectic collection of well-told tales, in which Michel Faber “marches on, establishing himself as one of the most versatile fiction writers working today” (Kirkus Reviews). “Readers will again be immersed in the intense worlds he creates.” —Publishers Weekly
The Club of Queer Trades is a collection of stories by G. K. Chesterton first published in 1905. Each story in the collection is centered on a person who is making his living by some novel and extraordinary means (a "queer trade", using the word "queer" in the sense of "peculiar"). To gain admittance one must have invented a unique means of earning a living and the subsequent trade being the main source of income.
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